Russia says no rush to recognise Taliban, calls for inclusive government

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FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is in no hurry to recognise the Taliban as legitimate authorities in Afghanistan, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, calling for an inclusive government to be set up involving all Afghan ethnic groups.

"... We see encouraging signs from the Taliban who say they would like to have a government that includes other political forces," Lavrov told reporters.

"But it would be premature to say that we are going to start making some political steps unilaterally."

Lavrov urged all ethnic groups in Afghanistan to convene for talks on the country's future after the withdrawal of U.S. States-led forces led to the fall of its previous government.

Citing the Russian Embassy in Kabul, Russia's RIA news agency reported on Tuesday that talks were under way between ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov and a Taliban representative.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Catherine Evans and Alison Williams)

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